Forget the NCAA—the biggest amateur athletics scam going is the Olympic Games. The best sportsmen, sportswomen, and sportschildren in the world, all conveniently paid in "glory" and "pride" instead of money. And the Games make money, plenty of it. But a host city has never once shown a profit. So in the end, the world's various Olympic committees exist only to enrich members of the world's various Olympic committees. Citius, Altus, Cashus!
There's a big honking exposé in the Sunday Times, which took months of undercover reporting and found that Olympic representatives and partners in more than 50 countries have been involved with illegal ticket scalping on the black market. I'd love to read the whole article, I'm sure it's artfully done, but the Times is behind a paywall and I don't have IOC bank. So we'll all have to settle for the AP's summary.
The Olympic ticket black market is thriving. Though face value for tickets is capped (at £2,012; cute), the open market's willing to pay much more. But since the tickets are distributed via official ticket sellers from each of the IOC nations, it's those authorized ticket reps who are doing the scalping. And the Times caught 27 different reps offering to sell undercover reporters premium tickets for up to $9,400 a pop. Like former Israeli Olympics swimmer Yoav Bruck, who can hook you up if you wanted premium seats to the men's 100-meter final. Or former USOC member Greg Harney, who helpfully explained to a reporter how to hide an illegal sale.
But the real winner is Greek Olympic Committee president Spyros Capralos, who claimed he obtained a second batch of hot tickets by telling the London organizers that demand in Greece outstripped their initial supply. Except, no: the Greeks aren't buying tickets, and those extra tickets were sold to the top bidders on an international black market. A GOC official denied that Capralos had done anything wrong, but then, the Times has him on tape, so good luck with that defense.
The matter is now in the hands of the IOC Ethics Commission, which is sure to do absolutely nothing like a good IOC subcommittee should. They've got a good thing going here, this whole "Olympic Games" racket, so why rock the boat?